How CIOs Can Manage Their Millennial Managers

Millennial managers require special attention from the CIO
Millennial managers require special attention from the CIO
Image Credit: CommScope

I really hate to share this with you – but, you’re getting old. How can we tell this? Simple, millennials are starting to become managers in your IT department. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that we were talking about how to deal with the millennials who were just then entering the IT department? Somehow time has marched on and now those same millennials are starting to be the ones in charge. As the CIO, how you choose to manage these millennial managers is going to be different and you need to know how to go about doing it correctly.

The Challenges That Millennial Managers Face When Managing

As the person with the CIO job, you have a good understanding of just how hard it can be to manage technical professionals as you try to capture the importance of information technology. Just image the challenges that a millennial manager must be facing! The arrival of millennial managers means that more and more IT workers are now working for someone who is younger than they are. 40% of U.S. workers reported that they were older than their boss.

What you need to realize is that a millennial manager may cause older managers to become upset. Their career paths may have been more traditional and so they view the quick assent of a millennial as threat. IT workers who have a younger manager find themselves having to prove their relevance to the workplace. These younger bosses also have a challenge. They need to realize that they have to admit that they don’t know everything. In order to fit in better, these managers need to take the time to go seek advice from their elders.

How To Manage Millennial Managers

Since you are in the CIO position, it is your responsibility to make sure that the rest of your managers interact well with your millennial managers. This means that you are going to have to teach them that their beliefs that the younger managers are both arrogant and will be making mistakes are incorrect. Instead, you need to teach your older managers that they need to learn to accept the newer managers. What the older managers need to do is to approach the younger managers and tell them that they have a great deal of experience and they’d like to partner up with the younger manager.

As the CIO, you are going to have to be the one who teaches your millennial managers how to navigate your company’s bureaucracy. You need to understand what your millennial managers don’t know. This means that you are going to have to be meeting with them on a regular basis in order to provide them with coaching. They’ll need help with a variety of issues such as how to find the people who can support them and their plans within the company. If millennial managers take the time to get to know people on a personal level, then they’ll be better able to understand the challenges that the company is facing.

What All Of This Means For You

The times are a changing and what this means for CIOs is that they will soon start to see more and more millennials moving into manager positions. This means that more and more IT workers will find themselves working for a boss who is younger than they are.

The arrival of younger managers can cause the older managers to become upset because it took them longer to become a manager. Younger managers need to be able to admit that they don’t know everything and they need to be able to ask for help. As the CIO, you need to be able to step in and lend a helping hand. You’ll need to get your older managers to accept the younger managers. You’ll also have to teach your younger managers how to be successful within the company.

Now that millennials have started becoming managers, this trend is only going to increase over time. As the company’s CIO it is going to be your job to find ways to ensure that this new breed of manager will be a success. Take the time to work with your millennial managers and make sure that they turn into the managers that your company needs in order to be successful.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: What do you think that a CIO should do when a millennial manager makes a mistake?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It goes without saying that every CIO is thinking about cloud computing. We can’t pick up an industry magazine, attend a conference, or even talk with a vendor without being bombarded with cloud-related discussions talking about how it relates to the importance of information technology. However, moving your company’s IT infrastructure into the cloud is a big deal. In fact, 94% – 95% of all corporate data currently resides in private data centers. Just exactly how should a CIO be thinking about the cloud these days?